The Hero and Roaster cling to their swords, watching the standoff nervously. The Jarl glares at Captain Crimson searching for a hint of faltering. Crimson’s face, darkly tanned and leathery from staring into the horizon for hours on end, doesn’t flinch at all.
“Well why didn’t you say who they were earlier?” laughs the Jarl, bending over to pick up his helmet. He turns the helm over in his hand. “You bent the wing! Helfgar better be able to mend this.”
“Better your helmet than your fleet of longships,” says Captain Crimson in a jolly tone. Despite the light-hearted tone, the Hero is unsure whether the comment was truly in jest or really a veiled threat.
“So this was your raiding parties?” asks Captain Crimson.
“Hardly,” replies the Jarl, “Cremouth was a great trading hub for us. A much shorter voyage for us to get our goods from here than traveling on to your realms. One of my longship captains came to visit and found the island deserted, so he returned and reported his findings to me. I figured we would plunder what we could.”
“These poor people were massacred and you come to loot and pillage,” asks the Hero derisively.
“Loot yes, pillage no,” answers the Jarl, Crimson giggles at the naivety of the Hero’s question. The Jarl continues, “And these poor saps didn’t take their belongings with them when they left this life, we might as well take it before letting it lie to rot or be looted by someone else.”
“So if it wasn’t viking raiders,” begins Dr. Wolf, “Then who did this? We’ve found no opposing force, just the evidence of a struggle.”
“This question perplexes us as well,” says the Jarl, “The only clue we have seen is the symbol on the mayor’s wall.”
Crimson’s eyebrows raise, obviously interested in the viking’s discovery. “Well, lead on then Jarl, let us see the symbol.”
The Jarl leads Crimson, the Hero, and Dr. Wolf on to the mayor’s abode in the city center. He bade the two viking raiders and the archers to return to their raiding party and struck off with the Fable heroes. The strange smell of sweet smoke still hangs over the city, a contradictory stimulus considering the desolation that lies around them. The party climbs to the top of the hill where the mayor’s house towers over the rest of the city. The opulent manor was once the finest house that the city of Cremouth could offer, but now it is but a smoking hull. The roof has collapsed and all the windows have been busted out. The only features that remain standing and are mostly intact are the great pillars that held up a great awning on the front of the mansion. On the center pillar, a large rune is painted.
“I’ve never seen anything like it before,” says the Jarl.
“It looks like a half sun/half moon with a swirling in it,” says Dr. Wolf, “Is this in reference to some kind of magic?”
“You’re asking the wrong Jarl,” retorts the Jarl, “Whatever or whoever this is, I hope we never cross paths.”
Crimson nods thoughtfully, "Boys I think we needs to be heading back to Franklin."
Narrated by Brandon Warner